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    The demographic future of China

    A year has passed since China changed its one-child policy, allowing families to have two children. And the results are plain to see: 17.860.000 children were born in 2016, with an increase of 7.9 % compared to 2015. According to data provided by the Chinese government, it is the highest rate since 2000.

     

    But it isn’t enough. Despite China is the most densely populated country in the world, it is still characterized by low population density of children

     

    “Of course, there has been a slight increase in births because now people have the choice of having a second child” – says Mei Fong, author of the book One Child: The Past and Future of China's Most Radical Experiment – “but I think, so far, all the projections suggest what demographers have been saying all along: yes, there will be a slight uptick, but it won't be enough to meet the issue of worker shortages or the broader birth rate trend”.

     

    Authorities have hoped for a minimum growth rate of 20 million but even that figure would not have saved the country from this demographic crisis. China is facing a rapid population aging and a shortage of working-age residents, causing stress on health care and social services for the elder people. To solve the situation the Chinese government will have to provide an adequate support encouraging couples to have more children and women to enter more easily in the world of work.